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In brief: Teen beggar in 'Fagin' family

A TEENAGE mother, who was compared by a judge to Oliver Twist used by a Fagin-like family, admitted bringing her baby onto the streets begging.

Judge John O'Connor had said at the Dublin Children's Court that a welfare report on the 17-year-old revealed she had been used by her extended family to beg and steal.

The Romanian native pleaded guilty yesterday to having the child with her in public places to induce people to give her money.

She made no reply when charged with the begging offences last year in Dublin city centre.

Judge O'Connor remanded her on continuing bail to appear again in four weeks.

Dogs unhappy say owners

ONE in four dogs is unhappy according to their owners, a new report suggests.

The study of 2,000 dog owners found 22pc of their pets sleep in their owners' bed or bedroom, 10pc of dogs never socialise with other dogs, and 25pc of dogs have never eaten a bone.

The Healthy Happy Hound Report, commissioned by Butcher's Pet Care, also found that a worrying 24pc of man's best friends were classified by owners as unhappy -- and a further 1pc as depressed.

North Korea in N-rocket tests

NORTH Korea is warning that it is prepared to conduct a nuclear test and carry out long-range rocket launches.

In a statement, the National Defence Commission threatened to wage a "full-fledged confrontation" against the US for what it calls continued hostility.

It follows the UN Security Council's condemnation of North Korea sanctions against the regime for launching a rocket in December.

Vietnam death row chemical

VIETNAM will begin producing its own chemical for executing prisoners after EU factories stopped shipments because of death penalty objections.

The country stopped using firing squads in 2011 because of concerns it was traumatising the shooters.

Last year, the government said it couldn't execute 532 people on death row because it could not obtain the drugs.